The Tour of Valganna and Lake Lugano

Distance: 50 km • Time: 3 hours • Medium difficulty

Varese - Induno Olona - Bisuschio - Besano - Porto Ceresio - Brusimpiano - Ardena - Marchirolo - Ghirla - Valganna - Brinzio - Varese

This hilly route links Varese to Lake Lugano and guarantees panoramic vistas of the valleys to the north. The ride starts near the racetrack in Varese and follows Via Valganna in the direction of Induno Olona. Turn left at the roundabout in the town centre and then head right on Via Maciachini. At the roundabout go around the church and take Via Monte Generoso towards Arcisate and then head for Velmaio, passing a small chapel on the left, and then take Via Lagozza on the right. Go straight over the roundabout and turn left after a small church onto Via Luscino in the direction of Brenno Useria. Turn right at the stop sign and then immediately left towards Bisuschio where you can visit Villa Cicogna Mozzoni. Turn right at the stop sign, and after the level crossing, turn left by the station towards Besano, which has a Fossil Museum with a very large collection of fossils found in the area around Monte San Giorgio that has recently become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A short, steep decent takes you into Porto Ceresio where you turn left to follow the lake road along Lake Lugano, which remains on your right for a few miles. Follow the lakefront until you reach Brusimpiano. Turn left at the second traffic light in Brusimpiano and start the climb up to Ardena, which has an average gradient of 6% and a maximum of 8%; the road is quite narrow here so ride carefully. You can enjoy breathtaking views of Lake Lugano along several stretches of this road and from the little church in Ardena. Head straight on towards Marchirolo up a short but relentless hill after the little church in Ardena. Turn left for Varese at the stop sign and continue until you reach the roundabout in Ghirla, where you will find the forge in front of you. Keep to the left and the road then follows Lake Ghirla until Valganna, where you turn right at the roundabout towards Bedero Valcuvia. This stretch of road is cobbled and takes you past the front of the Abbey of San Gemolo in Ganna, which is well worth a visit. Next head towards Bedero Valcuvia, Brinzio and Mottarossa, which is in the middle of the Campo dei Fiori Regional Park. The descent back down the other side takes you to a residential area called Rasa and then to the Sant’Ambrogio area of Varese on the slopes of Sacro Monte and past the park at Villa Toeplitz. At the first roundabout turn left along Viale Aguggiari, keep going until you reach the second traffic light where you turn left to return to the racetrack in Varese.



  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Distance: 50 km
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Starting and arrival point: Ippodromo di Varese
    Lago Maggiore Meeting Industry
    Provincia di Varese
    Consorzio Qualità Miele Varesino